When was the last time you checked your hives? With the next winter storm set to hit the UK imminently, your hives could be vulnerable.
The bees have been eating their winter stores quite rapidly down here in Cornwall and hives are getting lighter, even with the addition of blocks of Honey Bee Pro fondant. Lighter hives could be more susceptible to being blown over with gale force winds currently forecast. There is also the possibility of damage due to falling branches and general storm blasted debris hitting your hives.
When hives are well weighted down with a concrete block or large rock and wrapped with a wind proof winter wrap, you needn't be too worried about potential damage. Polystyrene hives and nuc boxes, whilst being terrific at insulating the colony, don't withstand strong gusts without being strapped together and a heavy block placed on top.
A stout hive stand is essential at this time of year. We can all be guilty of intending to fix the 'temporary' stack of crates or timber but it could be too late when there is a light hive perched on top and waterlogged ground underneath.
Make an imminent apiary inspection part of your daily exercise and save your bees from any avoidable damage!